Ambar Cristina Hanson

Executive Director, Mortenson Family Foundation

Ambar Cristina Hanson, MPA, is the Executive Director at Mortenson Family Foundation. She recently transitioned into this role after overseeing the Expanding Opportunities for Children and Families grant program for the past 4 years. Previously, Ambar worked as Chief External Relations Officer at Hiawatha Academies, a network of K-12 free public high-performing charter schools in South Minneapolis.

Ambar moved to Minnesota from the Dominican Republic 25 years ago. Since moving to the U.S., Ambar has been dedicated to promoting and advocating for immigrant communities and communities of color to have equal opportunity and access to higher education, jobs that provide livable wages, health, housing, and safety.

Before working in philanthropy and PreK-12 education, Ambar spent over ten years, advocating for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors through several roles at Casa de Esperanza and the National Latina Network for Healthy Families and Communities. She provided trainings locally and nationally that promote a holistic strengths-based approach to working with survivors of teen dating violence, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Ambar also served as a board member for the Emerging Markets Homeownership Initiative, East Side Neighborhood Development Company, and Cornerstone Montessori Charter School, as well as several advisory boards, panels and committees that promote economic and social justice.

Currently, Ambar serves as a board trustee for the Minnesota Council of Foundations, Latino Economic Development Center, and Bigelow Foundation. She is also a member of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni of Color Association.

Ambar lives with her partner and two children in South Minneapolis, where they enjoy dancing, hosting gatherings, and taking music lessons together.


Operationalizing Equity Commitments: The Role of the Family Foundation Board—Minneapolis Regional Convening

Posted on February 13, 2024 by Flor Frey, Bill Graves, Ambar Cristina Hanson

We invite you to join us and other Minnesota-based family philanthropies on March 28 for a conversation on operationalizing equity in family philanthropy.  Recently, schools and funders, among other institutions, have faced backlash against diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Against this backdrop, family philanthropy has an opportunity—and, arguably, a responsibility—to act on its expressed commitments to equity.   Join us… Read More